Talent Circles

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

5 Ways to Drive Real Innovation in Recruitment and Talent Acquisition



By Jessica Miller-Merrell

In general, recruiting isn’t usually viewed as the department or industry where innovation happens. It is common that business leaders and others outside of our industries, don’t always understand, or grasp everything it takes to recruit, engage and hire the best candidates for their company. It’s not that your business leaders don’t care, it’s just not their area of expertise.

Innovation in the area of talent acquisition isn’t about generating the most buzz or being the most unique, it’s about the strategies, plans and execution that generate results. These desired results go far beyond just the number of hires. We must also consider things like cost, timelines, the use of resources and the long tail metrics like retention due to recruiting and hiring done correctly.

1) Research
As a recruiter, you have to be diligent in understanding your target audience. Each position you have to fill is different. You have to tailor your approach with every role, making sure you know and understand how to reach and gain the attention of the best candidates for that position. It also goes back to the idea of making your company known in various places where qualified talent is available, even prior to needing to fill a position. By researching your options and getting your company’s name out there on industry websites and social media platforms like LinkedIn, it will make the process even easier for you once it is time to hire because you did some of the legwork beforehand.

2) Metrics
When it comes to analytics, metrics, and data, they don’t just help you justify your actions and gut instincts. The numbers provided help you build better formulate recruiting strategies and campaigns. There is value to be found in trends and forecasting. Having an idea of what might be coming down the line and then being prepared for it allows you to remain proactive and focus your efforts accordingly.

3) Proactive Recruiting
It is important to focus on the long term and relationship building with your ideal candidates. You may find a person who would be a valuable asset to your company but doesn’t currently fit any open positions that you have been tasked to fill. By maintaining even basic relationships with these candidates, you keep your company in the forefront of their mind and will have an easier time placing them in the right position down the road.

4) Technology
Technology goes beyond just having an updated applicant tracking system to the tools, tech and resources that help you quantify your current efforts and help you make smarter decisions in the how, when and why of recruiting. Beyond tracking, it should help you save time and space while expediting your processes.

5) Understanding Your Market
This ties directly in with the research aspect. Once you have collected your information it is important that you make sure to understand it and the people you are trying to attract. YOu must understand the market in terms of localized recruiting efforts, industry trends and economic indicators. Doing so will help you make the best decisions and lead the way to efficiently filling positions with qualified talent.


Real innovation only looks easy on the outside. It takes meticulous planning, research and efforts that are far reaching. Just looking at the five points above, it is easy to see how these things weave together. When done properly, these items feed into each other and move you along in the process of recruiting.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s is the Chief Blogger & Founder of Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @jmillermerrell

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